GlassPoint, MA'ADEN planning 1.5-GW Solar Steam plant to support Saudi Alumina plant

June 3, 2022
MA'ADEN says its Solar 1 will be the world’s largest solar process heat plant with the ability to reduce the carbon footprint of the refinery by more than 50%. It will also reduce MA'ADEN's carbon emissions by more than 600,000 tons annually

Saudi Arabian mining firm MA'ADEN has signed a memorandum of understanding with industrial solar steam generators firm GlassPoint to establish a 1,500-MW solar steam facility at its Alumina refinery in Ras al Khair, Saudi Arabia.

MA'ADEN says its Solar 1 will be the world’s largest solar process heat plant with the ability to reduce the carbon footprint of the refinery by more than 50%. It will also reduce MA'ADEN's overall carbon footprint by 4%, reducing carbon emissions by more than 600,000 tons per year.

The solar steam facility will use solar power to produce steam, which will be used to refine the bauxite ore into alumina – a critical feedstock to Aluminum – developing a sustainable way to make aluminum.

"As the third pillar of the Saudi economy, we aspire to be a role model in ESG in the Kingdom,”

Robert Wilt, CEO of MA'ADEN, said in a statement. “This significant development will dramatically reduce our carbon footprint and bring us closer to our mandate of carbon neutrality by 2050. As the world moves towards green aluminum, MA'ADEN intends to help lead the way in this transition."

Alumina, or aluminum oxide, is a crystalline substance used in the smelting of aluminum metal. Ninety percent of the alumina produced is consumed in the production of aluminum, according to industrial sources.

"MA'ADEN is leading the way to reduce industrial carbon emissions at scale by replacing fossil fuels with solar power to create heat. This facility when built will be the largest industrial solar steam plant in the world and the first deployed in both Saudi Arabia and in the aluminum supply chain," said Rod MacGregor, CEO and founder of GlassPoint. "With this MOU, GlassPoint is entering a new phase of growth to help decarbonize a range of industries seeking to lower their carbon footprint."